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Derby man sentenced to 6 years for selling heroin that led to fatal overdose

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DERBY–A man has been sentenced on federal drug charges after a fatal overdose in February.

There were two fatal overdoses in Derby and two heroin-related emergency calls in Shelton within a 24-hour period in February.

The Derby and Shelton police departments worked together to find the source of the heroin to prevent further overdoses, and they made an arrest just days after the overdoses.

Bradley Commerford, 20, of Derby, was found to be the source of the heroin related to the deaths and overdoses. He was arrested and federally charged for the sale and delivery of heroin for one of the fatal overdoses, which left a 23-year-old man dead, and the two non-fatal ones in Shelton that impacted an 18-year-old and 22-year-old.

The death was due to “acute fentanyl intoxication.”

The investigation revealed that he also sold heroin to a 16-year-old, but that person didn’t overdose.

Commerford was also wanted on several violation of probation outstanding warrants. He’s been detained since February 18, and pleaded guilty on May 6 to one count of distribution of heroin to someone under age 21.

“While this defendant has faced difficulties and struggled with addiction himself, his reckless behavior cannot be excused,” said U.S. Attorney Deidre Daly at the sentencing hearing on Friday. “He regularly distributed heroin to teenagers and sold heroin after being convicted in state court of several serious felony offenses.  More disturbing, even after the overdose death in this case, he continued to sell heroin and was arrested while on his way to purchase a distribution quantity of heroin from his source in Waterbury.”

Commerford was sentenced to nearly six years in prison, followed by six years of probation, during which time he needs to perform 150 hours of community service.